5 Radical Centre ideas the NZ Left desperately needs right now (plus 5 worst woke laws)

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As economic anxiety builds for the working classes in NZ, look at the NZ political left’s response.

  • Gerrymandering the Sexual assault laws so that any man accused of rape is convicted.
  • Climate change emergency declaration that doesn’t do anything.
  • Strangling off free speech with a blasphemy law and criminalizing the misuse of pronouns.
  • Ending Gay Conversion therapy that proponents can’t quantify.
  • Critical Racism theory in 0range Tamariki.

For the 190000 children in poverty, 24000 on emergency housing wait lists and generations locked out of home ownership, the NZ Left’s response is woke wankery.

Rather than focus on jobs, houses and poverty (because they are hard) we get middle class virtue signals.

Let’s remind you of the holy trinity of woke identity politics dogma.

In the name of the non-binary mother, non-binary daughter and the monthly ghost: All white people are irredeemable racists, all men are rapists and anyone defending free speech is a uniform wearing Nazi.

The Right look for recruits, the Left look for traitors and right now, the dangerous far right are winning.

Thanks to middle class identity politics, the Left have spent more energy since 2016 on fighting heteronormative white cis male patriarchy than capitalism.

Look at this…

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

…In 2010, the 388 richest individuals owned more wealth than half of the entire human population on Earth

By 2015, this number was reduced to only 62 individuals

In 2018, it was 42

In 2019, it was down to only 26 individuals who own more wealth than 3.8 billion people.

And now in 2021, 20 people own more than 50% of the entire planet.

This isn’t democracy, this is a feudal plutocracy on a burning Earth!

Labour have failed us over 4 years because they had no plan to scare the public service into serving the public.

They need 5 big Radical Centre ideas that actually do more than woke virtue signalling to challenge inequality and poverty .

1 – Use Public Works Act to seize 90% of all golf courses in Auckland.

The Housing crisis needs an immediate solution, not more empty promises. Using the Public Works Act, central Government should seize 90% of golf courses in Auckland and build a mix of state houses and first time home buyer owner/occupier tiny houses using the best environmental & urban design housing. Fuck the golfers. We could solve homelessness, provide extra resources to these new communities while giving first home buyers an immediate way into the housing market. Why not turn golfing privilege into economic justice?

2 – Feed the bloody kids – all of them!

Not just some bullshit unhealthy food, I’m talking community garden, local produce, parents paid to come in and help serve up the most nutritious and healthy breakfast and lunch at every school we can provide. To actually care about our children and set standards of what is most healthy for us. Hungry children can’t learn and removing this cost from the poorest parents pockets would do more to put money back into those pockets than any welfare increase would do without getting clawed back by MSD. We would build community at schools, while providing healthy food to our kids, while putting money into the poorest parents. Make this universal.

3 – Financial Transaction Tax

Society needs money for social infrastructure and to rapidly adapt to the climate crisis. It is unacceptable that citizens pay more tax. A Financial Transaction Tax set at .001 cent would capture all those speculators who trade and the banks that enable their gambling. Hit the corporates with this tax and the beauty is that it’s unavoidable because every electronic financial transaction is recorded. This would see billions available each year and start to push back on corporate power.

4 – Legalize Cannabis

The hundreds of millions in tax revenues, the 5000 jobs, the weakening of gangs plus the means to move criminals out of the black market into law abiding jobs all combine to the need for a State regulated industry that will benefit everyone. A stoned nation is far less violent than a drunk one, I’m certain it would reduce the terrible culture of rage we live with in this country.

5 – Free Public Transport

You want Aucklanders to get out of their cars? Make public transport free. Again this would help save the poor money and force change by providing and enormous incentive to get people out of their polluting cars.

This Government is failing in every indicator except keeping us safe from Covid but that’s not enough.

What is required are some big ideas with immediate pay off that enables the Government to bypass the public service and their fiefdoms.

Keeping Covid out isn’t enough. Those 190000 kids in poverty, those 24000 on emergency housing wait lists and the generations locked out of home ownership deserve better.

 

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37 COMMENTS

  1. They are beginning to fail at keeping covid out too. What happens to a one-trick pony when it can’t perform its trick……

    There is only so many times you can yell at your kids before they realise it means nothing ditto for government performed scare porn.

    In regards to your noble endeavours above. Some of this could have been achieved in the first huge spend up since WW2 but alas Robertson and Orr in their vanity used this to inflate the property market as people spent money on junk and housing renovations as well as corporate welfare for the top end of town that did not need it. This wowed the ‘market’ but economically was the equivalent of eating McDonalds straight for 2 months.

    Imagine spending 50 billion and not have even 1 additional bit of infrastructure out of it…….the chickens will start to come home to roost for Robertson and the government.

    • Jonesy, what, You can’t afford the 40 million penthouse in the Pacifica? Let’s hope it is still ‘warm and dry’ in a few years time, or you might be contributing to it’s remedial work.

  2. Any number of things could be added to that list…
    • Free Wifi nationwide
    • Basic Income for all citizens paid via IRD, retirement of WINZ/MSD
    • Clean out of the State Sector
    • Replace all 1984-1991 legislation
    and so on…

    BUT–the key question as ever is how exactly is 40 years of a neo liberal state and monetarist Parliamentary consensus to be rolled back before authoritarian populism takes hold here? Authoritarianism is just one more way to obscure who the main enemy is, and it is pretty clear from the info graphic above that it is bludging capitalists and finance capitalists and their elite group of toadies that need to be dealt to.

    Community organisation and direct action is the only way to make it happen, including putting up radical demands for new gen voters (who happen to be generations student loan and rent for life also) to support.
    NGOs, a radicalised union centre (who is Richard Wagstaff again?) and a rebuilt marxist left which these days has to Eco Socialist.

  3. You are right on the money with every point Martyn. However, the people that make and uphold the laws in this country are the very people that will benefit from them not being applied, so there’s very little chance of them ever being contemplated let alone acted upon. I do like your point about the golf courses though, I would love to be in the committee rooms of the various golf clubs when that was applied.

  4. “The Right look for recruits, the Left look for traitors and right now, the dangerous far right are winning” …

    At present the far right are not winning, I think the far left are winning and creating stupid rules (cultural revolution style) that are creating conditions for the far right to gain support.

    In the cultural revolution in China, Mao decided that sparrows were the enemy as they would eat the crops, so every person to show their devotion had to spend their spare time banging pots and pans and killing any sparrows they could find which made the sparrow nearly extinct in China. They got rid of the sparrows but then came a plague of locusts ballooned by the lack of sparrows which which resulted in severe ecological imbalance, being one of the causes of the Great Chinese Famine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pests_campaign

    In NZ the woke laws have created an imbalance. I agree with the woke laws listed but there are also many clumsy attempts at eradication or over population, which has created huge imbalance in many industries in NZ such as food and housing/construction and creating the population of 2050 in NZ with the infrastructure of 1980 and grinding to a halt because of all the stupidity, white elephants held up by government money and frauds.

    More woke laws.

    Cancelling protest movements as the woke message is that most people who care about protest are too racist to attend. You have to be the right identity to have the right to protest in NZ now.

    Cancelled the mum and dad farmers, while bringing in more scab labour for the intensive farmers and corporations who have more farm than they can manage.

    Cancelled the landlords and demolished exisiting housing, putting the renters on the streets or in motels while giving tax money and idealising developers for grandiose McMansions or housing estates in their names, at massive costs and expecting the local community to pay for the infrastructure and risks via their council and other taxes like additional road taxes. Use non transparent structures and marketing so that people are not aware that the state house land and housing has been given away, into structures that are not working because they are profit and marketing driven by neoliberals and outside of the control of the state.

    Cultural revolutions style, idealise the low paid migrant worker, toiling in the cartel supermarkets, liquor stores, retail, takeaways at minimum or ghost wages who are bankrolled by foreign family members waiting to come to NZ too, by piggybacking on the visas. (You obviously can’t do it on NZ wages!). This then take more supply for housing, driving up the prices with new demand.

    Idealise the small and large business owner who has environmentally wasteful businesses heavily subsidised by tax money via WFF, wage subsidies and various gig and contractor models to hire and fire at will, and the new innovation of paying back your wages in ghost or menial jobs and working illegally full time for cash all around NZ on construction sites, factories and farms.

    Turn a blind eye to growing illegal workers and cash workers, So easy for the accountants to work out to save money, you subcontract a crew to do the work, they subcontract to other subcontractors who send in illegal, cash workers to do the job and you can undercut 30% (just on the tax alone) the other contractors who pay tax! Then the ones with legal workers are less likely to get the work, let alone train and hire new people and the industry collapses constantly as the supply chain on labour alone is based on frauds.

    Allow cartels and monopolies to prosper in NZ, and while wages are stagnant or growing slowly, many essentials are going up significantly, like food and power. (A report put power increasing significantly in the last 5 years, and escalating in price, especially in the last two years, a lot of food seems to have gone up 20% since Covid, and the variety of choice in major supermarkets seems to be dwindling as they push their own brands).

  5. Whilst touting big bold initiatives, how about (6) turn the immigration tap tightly OFF for five years to allow our infrastructure to play catchup?

    • Absolutely 100%. We are too soft. Our population has increased by 20% in 10 years and we do not have the infrastructure or services to deal with it.

    • damn right ,we don’t need no stinkn nurses, teachers, n doctors. The kids can learn from the screen, and we have vets in this country, that should be good enough for us.

      • We don’t seem to be doing too well with importing the doctors.

        NZ seems to be more interested in importing high needs people putting people in hospital or the justice/mental health system than professionals running them .

        In spite of mass immigration per capita for the last decade our health system doesn’t seem to be getting better and there seems more problems far deeper than just staffing. See Ian Powell posts.

        A nod to neoliberal tertiary education here, that we don’t seem too interested in training our own youth to those careers. Or retaining the people we already have. (Both migrants and locals).

        NZ has more a retainment problem than a recruitment problem for labour.

      • That’d be valid IF and ONLY IF, all the immigarationthat wold be stopped, was those definitely required workers.
        SADLY they are but a small subset of the immigrats over the last 10-15 years.

      • @Sabine
        Remember we do train all those professions you mentioned IN this country. Incentivising them to stay with competitive salaries and wages would help stem any outward flow and redress any imbalance (if indeed it currently exists in this Covid environment).
        Further, we need to remind ourselves why we need increasing numbers of “stinkn nurses, teachers, n doctors” (sic). And that’s because of our burgeoning population, helped no end by immigration!!
        Like I say – turn the tap off for a bit, and gain the necessary breathing space to sort our public institutions and infrastructure to meet current and future needs.
        It’s not rocket surgery 🙂

  6. I appreciate some much needed perspective on the state of things outside of COVID paranoia.
    But you are wrong about the government keeping us safe from COVID. Refusing to discuss treatments beyond ‘vaccines’, maintaining ill prepared medical infrastructure, no rapid test kits in the home and a bought media are going to end up haunting us for generations. COVID is coming and there’s a lot more to keeping us safe than just jabbing us. As for lockdowns, they can only be temporary and they make the poor poorer.

    • Who would you vote for
      Labour more of the same
      Green Party Labour x 4 disaster
      National still trying to sort their shit out
      Act unknown quality
      NZFirst Winstons last stand looking to leave a legacy for good or bad but it would be all about Winston
      Maori Party a lot of grandstanding but could be good news for the poor and disposest
      The other parties are ultra concervative probably religious based or woke left with a barrow to push
      No wonder Aussie looks good despite it being full of Australians

  7. NZ focus on construction based on an ideal (and immigration Ponzi) similar to Mao’s Great Leap Forward? In just a few years, the Great Leap Forward policy, caused massive environmental, social and economic damage in China.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/the-great-leap-forward-195154

    John Key already seems to have harvested “The first autumn of the Great Leap Forward, 2005 – 2016” and now the ‘great leap forward’ continued by Labeen, are eventually going to cause further environmental and economic damage….

  8. You don’t need the PWA Bomber, the Council or NZ Govt owns thirteen of them anyway:

    “Mayor Phil Goff says, “The 13 council-owned or managed golf courses are a major asset for our city valued at around $3 billion and are enjoyed by tens of thousands of Auckland golfers each year.”

    And,

    “The council owns 10 golf courses and manages leases for another three courses on Crown land, bringing the total of council-managed courses in the region to 13.”

    https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/news/2018/9/proactive-approach-to-council-s-investment-in-golf/

    This includes courses in really strategic locations like the Takapuna Golf Course, which was taken into public ownership at the end of the 1950s because they needed to carve off a bit for the motorway. A new golf course was created at public expense further out in Albany. The plan at that time was to redevelop the remainder of the Takapuna course into an ideally-located town centre for the North Shore, but in practice it remained — a golf course.

  9. Er, not wanting to be a pedant but I can’t avoid it somehow.

    There is no such thing as free public transport – rather there would need to be a transfer of those costs to others (who are already partiality subsidising it).

    So if we take more to fully subside public transport what are we going to go without instead? Other people’s money isn’t an endless resource despite what some may think.

    Also, can you add those huge racecourses to your list? I’d love to see all those Remuera residents shit their pants if social housing and the like was built across the many acres of the Ellerslie racecourse. This land is central, has existing light rail in place and is close to multiple areas of industry ie pen rose, Mt Wellington.

    Lastly, rather than taxing the middle class into poverty so we’re all equally miserable how about just digging up all the coal, gold and other minerals we’ve got and applying a Nordic style sovereign wealth tax to and fund health, education and whatnot?

  10. What about CMT Compulsory Manual Training. Everyone has to turn out at least once in the year, even oldies, and do something that needs doing picked from a list put together by locals. All the middle-class lords and ladies of whom I am one and my family, have to wake up and be part of a busy network that is able to keep this country going and providing for all at a basic level. Do one’s bit for a good outcome. Those who can afford better have better but we look after those in need, and learn what actually is needed and do it, not just think Me,Me, more nice stuff.

  11. Transaction tax is the stand out idea. Easy to implement, difficult to avoid and huge source of funds.

    Sure use a bit of golf course land for housing but once it’s housing it’s no longer green space that can be used for public parks.

    Is it a good thing or a bad thing that most Auckland house owners are a part of the 1%? median price $1.18 million.

  12. Re Remmers Golf course is a public ‘park’ but with a fence around it, but there’s more … the fence and clubrooms are privately own. And they have somehow screwed a ‘contract’ with Ak Council with a 100-year lease on the golf course! There is still about 94(or so) years to run! And Goff doesn’t want to do anything about it.

    • Oh! I forgot to mention. All of the Remmers members get paid by Auckland Ratepayers a $12k subsidy which is equivalent to what they pay in subs to the club.

      “Bernard Hickey writes:

      Just imagine if someone told you the ratepayers of Auckland and the taxpayers of New Zealand were giving billions of dollars to the wealthiest property owners in the land.

      How would the public react? Probably not well. Yet that is exactly the case and I haven’t heard a chorus of talkback abuse or any outraged front pages or indignant questions in Parliament.

      So here goes. Did you know that 1400 members of the Remuera Golf Club receive the exclusive benefit of a piece of Auckland Council-owned land valued at up to $517 million?

      The club pays rates of $130,000 a year. If up to 70 per cent of that land was broken up and sold for housing and the rest left in parks, it would produce revenues of $16.5 million a year.

      That’s an annual subsidy of $16.37 million, or $11,700 a member.

      Councils should and do provide recreational and sporting facilities. But I don’t think golf courses should be subsidized like this. Sporting fields tend to be open to anyone to play on for a minimal fee, and often can host multiple codes. Also, they are much much smaller than golf courses.

      I think golf courses should have rates assessed at market prices. If the land is worth $500 million, then their rates bill should reflect that.

      Even if each member played 50 rounds a year, that would be a subsidy of $233 per round or $13 a hole.”

  13. Martyn

    I have no problem (mostly) with anything you suggest, it all makes sense. Just a few comments on some of the 5 points:
    1. Golf Courses: your idea would probably fly if you suggested they use many of the 18-hole courses and leave 9 holes to play golf and/or public park. Then the other 9 holes would be used for housing. That’s still a lot of real estate! A good start and a win win all round. You can grab the other 9-holes later.
    2. Jacinda is in charge of children and their welfare – so there is your problem right there! Nothing will happen.
    3. Transaction Tax – no brainer. Must do.
    4. Cannabis – may as well be legal. What if one started smoking dried parsley and felt happy and high…they gonna ban parsley?
    5. Free Public transport – that’s the hard one mate. Sure, yes, make it free, busses free, whatever, but let’s face it, NZ is just not a ‘good public transport country’ like say Hong Kong or big city countries like (USA) New York. We are trying to decentralise the city as it is, who wants to work in skyscrapers? Half of us work from home now and in the future. Our typical end destinations, factories, business parks, work sites etc are often miles way from PT end terminals, nobody wants walk in the rain or carry tonnes of tools. Any rail system is prohibitive to build and fucking slow once it’s complete. The ICRL project is already doomed that’s for sure, it’s an ideological fuckup. We aren’t getting the Sydney-Metro-Fast-High-Speed-Only-Three Stops-To-The-Airport folks…we are getting the slow tram thingy that takes longer to get to the FishMarket than walking from Sydney Downtown, 20 stops, serious!!!! Shoot me down, but I can guarantee you will all be disappointed when that ICRL starts running, it will turn into a let down flop of monumental proportions! Here is the plan: We just need to make it easier for cars to start with, and then FORCE the electric car issue so the roads serve their real purpose. We need more 4-lane high-speed motorways, sorry to tell you. And a few Autobahn unlimited roads. AKL to Wellington, really folks, in an E-Car or E-Truck should take no longer than 5 hours – it’s only 600 lousy km!!! AKL to Whangarei should take 1.5 hour in an E-Car or E Truck in the future. It’s only bloody 180km away!! Fuck the stupid rail idea – NZ is not flat enough or rich enough to afford an effective rail system! Sorry, someone has to be sensible – might as well be me.

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